By Michael Kinney, Contributing Writer
Football season has officially begun and it couldn’t have come any sooner for Mustang. The broncos kicked off their first practice of the season Monday after chomping at the bit during the off season.
“It starts with Clinic week at the end of July,” MHS coach Jeremy Dombeck said. “All the coaches are gathered going to meetings. When you are there in Tulsa, you start to realize it’s right around the corner. Then that next week you have all your staff meetings. I know everybody is excited.”
In the first few days of practice, Dombeck and his staff have a few specific areas they want to focus on.
“No. 1, I want to see how good of shape we are in,” Dombeck said. “I think coach David Gladden has done an outstanding job this summer. I think we are probably in the best shape physically at this time of the year than we have ever been. The first four days you’re without pads. So there is still lot of teaching, a lot of learning, knocking the rust off and bringing some of the young kids along.”
Yet, the Mustang coaches also want to make sure their veteran players didn’t forget everything.
“I want to see the retention level from our older guys,” Dombeck said. “See what type of strides they make from Monday to when we put the pads on Friday.”
One of those veteran players who has to be on his game from the first day is quarterback Branden Garrett. The Broncos have expanded their offense from last season and Garrett wants to make sure that side of the ball is going smoothly this first week.
“I am looking to see us execute things,” Garrett said. “We have a lot of veterans. We just need to come out here and do what we do. We are pretty ahead of schedule. Our receivers have pretty good matchups. We have pretty good chemistry going. A lot of throwing sessions. That has helped us a lot and it will show in the first week of the season.”
As exciting as the first day of practice was, nothing compares to the first day of full pads. All of the adrenalin and testosterone the Broncos have saved up during the offseason will get a chance to be unleashed Friday.
However, for the coaches, it also signifies how quickly they are moving toward their first game.
“Friday will be exciting. Then that next week you are in scrimmage week,” Dombeck said. “It comes in a hurry. From the first day of practice to your first competition against somebody else in a different color jersey, it’s not that long. You get about seven good workouts in before you have to do that.”
Despite how fast preseason practice goes, Dombeck said he, his staff and players are prepared for it.
“We’re fortunate here in Oklahoma,” Dombeck said. “With our spring ball, our team camps and the things we get to do in the offseason, I think it really puts us ahead of the game. We are ready to go.”
Garrett echoes his coaches sentiments.
“I am pretty excited for my senior year,” Garrett said. “Everybody can’t wait for their senior year to ball out. That’s what we plan on doing together.”